EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! The Dopey’s are back today with the day five blog!!!
This morning we woke up at 4:45 to begin our trek to the Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert. We loaded up the bus, and after getting some rest during the beginning of the ride. For breakfast we enjoyed some delicious Wal-mart brand muffins and clementines. Blueberry, banana nut, chocolate chip, and double chocolate chip were some of the favorite flavors from this morning! Every vehicle had enough food this time!!
Our early crossing from the middle of New Mexico into Arizona was definitely a long one! After hydrating for the last couple days in preparation for our Grand Canyon hike tomorrow morning, it was hard to go three hours without a stop at a restroom. BUT WE MADE IT! Water, Gatorade, and believe it or not, Pedialite have been our best friends for the past 5 days! We have had reviews on the flavor of said Pedialite tasting like salt and/or medicine. Due to these drinks and our much awaited bathroom stop, our bladders were about to explode!! We wish this were an exaggeration…
|TWB does not approve of this rest stop on the border of Arizona!|
We can’t forget our bus scare! We were told that we would be stopping on an on ramp to allow our bus driver to check a belt on the bus. However, we saw a hitchhiker, and after a quick poll, we decided to pick him up. Lo and behold, the one and only Grant Deaton climbed on with a cardboard sign labeled ‘Grand Canyon.’ We welcomed him back to Trip 1 with wide smiles and a round of applause!!!! We love Grant!
After our stop at a rest area on the New Mexico and Arizona line, we enjoyed a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips. Our lovely cooks forgot to pack knives on the vans, so an extreme improvisation occurred so we could spread the peanut butter and jelly onto the sandwiches. A library card and credit card (however, Tyler Sellers used a pretzel stick, smart man) served us well in our afternoon meal as we munched on our tasty sandwiches and continued to drive through Arizona!!! Yes, a library card!!
A bumpy ride through Arizona brought us to the Petrified Forest National Park!! We all were sure to kiss the rock at the entrance of the Petrified Forest National Park for good luck!!
|Counselors at the Petrified Forest National Park!|
As we drove through the park, we gawked at the mounds of rock formed by Mother Nature herself in the Painted Desert. Beautiful colors of red, brown, grey, green, purple and orange filled our eyes as we stared into the distance, barely believing we were looking out at something real!!
|Pictures of the Painted Desert do NOT do it justice!|
Today’s presentations included the UFO incidents in Roswell, done by Ashley Weinstein of Charlotte; the Petrified Forest, done by Nick Richard of Mooresville; and the great state of Arizona, presented by Erin Sherrill of Cleveland. After taking many, many pictures with an amazing backdrop, we climbed back into the bus and van and continued further into the park to see the largest petrified tree in North America.
|Ashley Weinstein presenting her research on the Roswell UFO Incidents!|
|Nick Richard informing us about the beautiful Painted Desert!|
|Erin Sherrill filling us in on the great state of Arizona!|
Climbing out of the vehicles, we walked up a trail to a grove of petrified logs leading up to the much larger one at the top. Our leaders snapped a quick picture in front of it, followed by group pictures taken on a rock of each group (Happy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful, and Grumpy). After a walk through the gift shop and several postcard purchases, we returned to the bus and vans one last time before heading to dinner!
Driving down Route 66 was such a fantastic experience!!! We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona for the cooks to buy groceries at Safeway (yes, it’s not Wal-mart; yes we were all surprised to be stopping at some place other than Wal-mart) for the next few days. We had our first meal out at a wide assortment of options including Chipotle, Panda Express, McDonalds, and whatever else was available in the Safeway shopping center before boarding the bus and driving the rest of the way to the Grand Canyon!
On the way to the Grand Canyon, we had several participants that caught up on their Zzz's...
|Blessid Snow in a deeeeep sleep!|
|Bus buddies that sleep together, stay together!!|
|Cole Frederick and Seth McCrachen snoozing away together!|
|ANOTHER sleepy Gia Lash!|
|Nate Craven improvising!|
After a two-hour drive, we finally arrived and unpacked the bus and vans, set up camp, and had a long discussion (including a lengthy safety talk) about the hike tomorrow morning. We start hiking the canyon at 3:30am!!!!!! It’s important that we beat the heat and get to see the sunrise in the canyon!
The view is absolutely breathtaking, and we will inform you all about it tomorrow after we experience its beauty physically via our hike. We are all looking forward to hiking tomorrow, but more importantly, we are excited to call home and take long, hot showers!! Don’t forget to answer any strange phone numbers tomorrow, as it may be your loved ones! However, keep in mind that we are currently in a time zone that is about three hours earlier than time at home.
Until tomorrow, which for us happens to be very shortly (approximately 3:00 in the morning), the Dopeys are signing out.
***The Wi-Fi signal at our campground in the Grand Canyon is very spotty, there is no service, so the pictures will be uploaded as soon as possible! We are working on keeping the participants safe and hydrated! Tomorrow's blog will be delayed as well.***